- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Gallaudet official suspended in gay-marriage petition flap demands job back
Question of the Day
Gallaudet University’s chief diversity officer — on administrative leave for signing a petition to bring Maryland’s same-sex marriage law to a vote — demanded on Tuesday to be reinstated to her old job and to be fairly compensated by the university for the emotional damage and embarrassment her suspension has caused.
Speaking through a sign-language interpreter at a news conference in Annapolis, Angela McCaskill said she signed the petition because she supports the democratic process and that she finds the university’s actions to be “utterly wrong.”
“The students are watching. The world is watching,” Ms. McCaskill said. “I ask that the administration makes the right decision and rights their wrongs.”
Ms. McCaskill signed the petition earlier this year at church, after a sermon about marriage, said her attorney, J. Wyndal Gordon. Her signature on the petition had nothing to do with opposition to same-sex marriage, she said. The definition of marriage is a controversial issue in Maryland, and Ms. McCaskill said that she wanted to exercise her right to participate in civil discourse on the issue.
Two weeks ago, she said, a colleague at Gallaudet had been looking at a database of signers on the website of the Washington Blade, a gay newsweekly, and asked Ms. McCaskill if she had signed the petition. Ms. McCaskill responded that she had.
Ms. McCaskill said the colleague and her partner then wrote a letter to University President T. Alan Hurwitz asking that disciplinary action be taken. Mr. Hurwitz responded by placing Ms. McCaskill on paid administrative leave, saying that some at the university felt it was inappropriate for a diversity officer to sign this kind of petition.
The letter announcing her suspension, sent to the entire university community, insulted Ms. McCaskill.
“I’m dismayed that Gallaudet University is still a university of intolerance, of management by intimidation, which allows bullying among faculty, staff and students,” she said.
In the week since Ms. McCaskill’s suspension, people on different sides of the issue — from the Maryland Marriage Alliance, which opposes same-sex marriage, to Marylanders for Marriage Equality, which supports it — have asked that she be reinstated.
In a statement Tuesday, Mr. Hurwitz “indicate[d] forcefully” he would like to have Ms. McCaskill back on the job. He wrote that Ms. McCaskill was initially suspended so that the university community could rationally consider whether her signature on the petition interferes with her ability to do her job.
“While I expect that a resolution of this matter can be reached that will enable Dr. McCaskill to continue as our chief diversity officer, this will require that she and the university community work together to respond to the concerns that have been raised,” Mr. Hurwitz wrote.
“I am questioning their sincerity in light of the media attention this issue has received,” he said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Megan Poinski is the former deputy metro editor at The Washington Times. She has worked as a reporter, editor and web designer for more than a decade, covering mostly local, state and federal government in Ohio, Maryland and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Throughout her career, she has received reporting awards from the Scripps Howard Foundation, Capitolbeat, and Associated Press Managing ...
TWT Video Picks
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- Pentagon running out of time to find mass of missing weapons in Afghanistan
- Washington Times strikes content and marketing partnership with Redskins
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- ORTEL: Note to Janet Yellen: The American bubble is popping
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq